Bethe-Heitler cascades as a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars
1 Department of Physics, Yunnan Normal University, 650092 Kunming, PR China
2 Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 650011 Kunming, PR China
3 Key Laboratory for the Structure and Evolution of Celestial Objects, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049 Beijing, PR China
4 Department of Physics and Electronics Science, Liupanshui Normal University, Liupanshui, 553004 Guizhou, PR China
Received: 9 June 2015
Accepted: 30 September 2015
Context. Very high-energy (VHE) γ-ray measurements of distant TeV blazars can be nicely explained by TeV spectra induced by ultra high-energy cosmic rays.
Aims. We develop a model for a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars.
Methods. In the model, the TeV emission in distant TeV blazars is dominated by two mixed components. The first is the internal component with the photon energy around 1 TeV produced by inverse Compton scattering of the relativistic electrons on the synchrotron photons (SSC) with a correction for extragalactic background light absorbtion and the other is the external component with the photon energy more than 1 TeV produced by the cascade emission from high-energy protons propagating through intergalactic space.
Results. Assuming suitable model parameters, we apply the model to observed spectra of distant TeV blazars of 1ES 0229+200. Our results show that 1) the observed spectrum properties of 1ES 0229+200, especially the TeV γ-ray tail of the observed spectra, could be reproduced in our model and 2) an expected TeV γ-ray spectrum with photon energy >1 TeV of 1ES 0229+200 should be comparable with the 50-h sensitivity goal of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) and the differential sensitivity curve for the one-year observation with the Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO).
Conclusions. We argue that strong evidence for the Bethe-Heitler cascades along the line of sight as a plausible origin of hard spectra in distant TeV blazars could be obtained from VHE observations with CTA, LHAASO, HAWC, and HiSCORE.
Key words: BL Lacertae objects: individual: 1ES 0229+200 / radiation mechanisms: non-thermal
© ESO, 2015